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In police interview, Hill said she knew nothing about Bills’ disappearance

News Photo by Steve Schulwitz State Assistant Attorney General Danielle Hagaman-Clark, left and Alpena County Prosecutor Cynthia Muszynski strategize during day three of the preliminary examination hearings for Brad Srebnik and Joshua Wirgau. The two men are accused of murdering two women in 2021.

ALPENA — Day three of the preliminary examination for Brad Srebnik and Joshua Wirgau on Wednesday featured testimony from Wirgau’s wife and the playing of a police interview with Abby Hill about the disappearance of Brynn Bills, before Hill was allegedly murdered.

Hill and Bills were both reported missing during the summer of 2021 and their remains were eventually found — Bills’ body was found in Wirgau’s back yard, and Hill’s body was located behind Lafarge.

Police and prosecutors say Bills was strangled to death, while Hill was shot in the back of the head and killed.

Srebnik faces two counts of premeditated murder, weapons charges, and disinterment and mutilation of a body, while Wirgau faces one count of premeditated murder, disinterment, weapons charges, and a count of accessory after the fact to a felony.

Chelsea Wirgau, who lived with her husband at a home on Naylor Road, explained how during telephone calls with Josh, he asked her to take their child and leave the area.

“He told me I needed to leave town and that I’ll find out why sooner or later,” she said.

The home was also broken into and several guns, including a rifle, shotgun, and pistol were stolen from Chelsea’s gun safe. The prosecution is trying to link the alleged theft to Srebnik and prove one of the guns taken was used to commit the alleged murder of Hill.

Pieces of a similar firearm were retrieved in three rivers in Alpena and when reconstructed by the Michigan State Police, it matched the type of gun stolen and the type of bullet shrapnel found during Hill’s autopsy.

As the hearing wound down, a recording of Hill being questioned by Alpena Police Detective Steve Davis, who is now retired, and Michigan State Police Detective Sergeant Anthony Utt was played. The two police officers questioned Hill after she was arrested downstate and in the process of being transferred back to Alpena.

The interview, which was done on Sept. 15, 2021, is several hours long, and only about the first hour played on Wednesday but will resume Thursday morning, highlighting the exchange between police and Hill, who repeatedly said she didn’t know how or why Bills was missing.

According to Hill, the last time she saw Bills was on Aug. 1, 2021, when she picked her up in Srebnik’s truck and went back to her home to hang out and watch movies. Hill said Bills asked if she had any meth, but Hill said she didn’t and the girls didn’t consume the cocaine she did have. Hill said the girls smoked a lot of weed, watched television, and she fell asleep at about 5 a.m.

Police informed Hill that she was the last one to see Bills alive and they would eventually find the truth, but Hill said she had no information that could help them.

“I woke up and she was gone,” Hill said on the recording. “It’s sad and I really want to help, but I really don’t know anything.”

Hill was cooperative and non-combative in the recording and although police urged her to come clean if she knew or did anything, Hill stuck to her story. Utt and Davis tried to reassure her by telling her that sometimes good people make mistakes and asked if there was a drug overdose or if Hill was a runner for someone else who may have a vendetta against Bills, but Hill said neither were accurate.

Police also tried to convince Hill to take a polygraph test, which she denied several times. Utt and Davis told her other suspects had taken them and cleared their name and she could do the same by answering one simple question.

“Were you responsible for the disappearance of Brynn Bills?”

When Hill asked who the other suspects were, the police said they could not disclose that information.

The balance of the interview will begin when court begins again today at 8:30 a.m. The preliminary examination is expected to go through Friday.

The preliminary examination is in district court, but the hearings are being held in circuit court.

This story has been updated to reflect that the prosecution is trying to link an gun alleged theft to Srebnik and prove one of the guns taken was used to commit the alleged murder of Abby Hill. This was incorrect in an earlier version of this story.

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